A common theme I have been noticing in my articles lately is taking a guy who started slow but is beginning to return to form. It was a confusing offseason for the MLB as guys never knew when the season was gonna start. It was especially tough on pitchers who are often meticulous in their preparation of the season. Many were bound to start slow, but now 7-8 starts in, many have shaken off the rust and gotten back to their normal ways. Last year's Cy Young winner was not immune to this. Robbie Ray has been hit around quite a bit this year. He currently has a 4.77 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 29 earned runs, and 8 home runs. While he has been giving up even more runs so far in May, the most relevant thing to us is his strikeouts. He had only 26 K in 30.1 innings in April. When we look to May, we see 32 K in 24.1 innings, much more like the Robbie Ray that led the league in K in 2021.
Ray has recorded 8 or more strikeouts in 3 straight games vs tough matchups. This afternoon he draws a much easier matchup at home vs the A’s. Oakland has the 10th most strikeouts per game at 8.67, and have struck out 30 times in the last 3 games. They have really struggled to make contact on the road this season, holding a 27.5 K% in 864 plate appearances. Day games have not been kind to them either as they have a 26.1 K% in 750 plate appearances. Ray has gotten himself in trouble a lot this season, but I think he has high potential to throw a gem today. Oakland has a league worst .211 team batting average, league worst .276 OBP, and the second worst slugging % at .325. I like our chances at this being Robbie’s best game of the season.